Finchampstead Undulations is series of 19 geo-caches (mainly film canisters and plastic specimen bottles) placed on a 3.5 mile walk around Finchampstead. The walk description stated that footpaths “shouldn’t be too muddy” which for about half the walk was inaccurate!
Along the route there were 6 other caches to find making a possible total of 25.
We started the trail at St James Church, passing through the churchyard, and then onto a footpath adjacent to the sports field. We took a minor deviation to a well and then proceeded away from Finchampstead and heading towards, and then parallel to, the River Blackwater. Our route then turned back to the church, with the final cache being inside the church campus (but not the graveyard).
The route was educational as caches were set near to information boards/signs relating to various Jubilee trees (various monarchs) and Katherine of Aragon’s meeting with Prince Arthur. The route also passed by the side of an alpaca farm, and it was great to see such exotic creatures living in Berkshire!
The area around Finchampstead has many trees lining the route, and these formed the basis for many of the cache hiding places. The irregular nature of oak tree roots formed ideal locations!
One such oak tree was on the far side of a stream, involving a jump to cross the stream. Not easy as the banks were steep and the ground decidedly slippery!
About two-thirds the way round, we were approaching cache 16 (another oak). Standing off the footpath, furtively looking at the oak were a couple who we discovered were also geocachers, known as BEPMonkey. They were completing the circuit in the opposite direction to us! Great to see some other cachers in real life!
Of our failures: one was high in a tree, another was a multi-cache we couldn’t find, another was in some ivy, and another involved finding a tree plaque which we didn’t have time for.
These failures aside, it was a great walk, on typical wet winter footpaths, and great caches including finding another trackable (JeanMichel Jarre).